Office of University Relations

Public Relations

The public relations team is part of the Office of University Relations. Public relations works to strengthen, protect and enhance the reputation of the institution. This includes anticipating issues and managing communication during crises, providing strategic communications counsel and tactical execution, engaging in community relations and media relations, and participating in the planning and execution of special university projects and events.

Inside UNI

Media Relations

University Relations is responsible for contact with the news media, including the creation and distribution of information related to general university news or topics. UNI faculty and staff who are contacted by reporters need to communicate with UR. The goal of UNI media relations efforts is to provide media outlets with useful information in a user-friendly, credible format that clearly represents the university's brand.

If you have an idea, program or event that you think media outlets would be interested in covering, please contact Steve Schmadeke at Several options for disseminating your information to the media are available, including:

  • News Release

  • Story Tips

  • Op-ed

  • Proactive Pitching

  • Social Media

Visit our Newsroom for official university news, story leads and resources for media.

Media training is available to all UNI faculty, staff and students. To schedule an appointment, contact Steve Schmadeke at or 319-273-2761. A Message Development Worksheet and Media Interview Guide are available and will be helpful in thinking about the main message and points to make in an interview.

Issues Management & Crisis Communication

University Relations proactively identifies emerging issues and is responsible for official institutional communication on and off campus related to issues and crises. This includes the use of the automated UNI Alert System to distribute emergency messages. For more information about UNI Alert, visit the UNI Alert website.

Electronic Newsletters

University Relations, in conjunction with the UNI Foundation and UNI Alumni Association, maintains an electronic communications software system that is linked to the Millennium alumni database. With it we can segment alumni lists to send e-newsletters and other communications to UNI alumni and others. Lists can be segmented by majors, geographic location, and many other criteria.

A key part of the process is strict adherence to federal and state laws on e-communications, including the federal CAN-SPAM law. Steps are also taken with every mailing to prevent the domain from being blacklisted by Internet service providers.

Open Records

Go directly to Public Records website at

Community Outreach

Community outreach initiatives focus on events and programs that connect the university with the citizens of Iowa and beyond. Examples of community outreach activities University Relations participates in include:

  • Community and university events
  • Booth at the Iowa State Fair
  • UNI Day at the Statehouse
  • Speakers Bureau – UR provides a comprehensive listing of UNI faculty and staff who are willing to make presentation about UNI or their personal and professional areas of expertise. Visit the Speakers Bureau website for more information.

University Style Guide

University Relations maintains the university's official branding standards. A downloadable version of UNI's style and identity guide is available at